Posted on Friday, January 22, 2016

In this episode of Radio Art Center, which aired January 23, 2016, the Des Moines Art Center's Director of Marketing and PR Christine Crawford sits down with Amy N. Worthen, curator of prints and drawings, to talk about the new exhibition, GRAAAFICAAA ITAAALIANAAA.

GRAAAFICAAA ITAAALIANAAA explores some of Italy’s contributions to—and its ambivalence about—art on paper from the early to mid-20th-century. Filippo Marinetti’s Les Mots en Liberté Futuristes (1919), a Futurist typography attack on The Past, contrasts with Adolfo de Carolis’ Symbolist woodcuts in Gabrielle D’Annunzio’s wartime meditation Notturno (1922), a work that evokes the highest Renaissance traditions of book design and printing. The astonishing focus of attention and minute cross-hatching in Giorgio Morandi’s etching of a still life seems worlds away from Michelangelo Pistoletto’s photo-screenprint of a parrot on polished stainless steel. From Lino Pirone’s Pop-inspired, torn newspaper to Francesco Clemente’s gigantic, multi-sheet hand-drawn lithographs of world archetypes, GRAAAFICAAA ITAAALIANAAA shows how 20th-century Italian artists made drawings and prints, and manipulated paper in the most amazing ways. Although works in the exhibition can be seen as representative of styles and movements in which Italian artists participated, they must also be understood as products of an anguished century.

The exhibition will be on view in the John Brady Print Gallery through May 29, 2016.

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